STRATAGEM 1861 - Early Civil War Tactics and the Battle for the Potomac

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9781450789462: STRATAGEM 1861 - Early Civil War Tactics and the Battle for the Potomac

Several months prior to the Battle of First Manassas (First Bull Run), the Virginia militia began careful planning for a series of earthen batteries along the Potomac River at the doorstep of the nation's capital. The construction of these batteries commenced in May 1861 and progressed under secrecy and heavy concealment. By the time they were revealed, the Confederate Army would effectively blockade the Potomac River thus preventing the passage of any naval traffic from October of 1861 to March 1862. The resulting blockade (Battle for the Potomac) nearly crippled the Union in the midst of an international crisis, The Trent Affair. These events were compounded by Union General George McClellan's lack of an apparent plan to eliminate the batteries, a ballooning federal debt and a host of Confederate victories on the battlefield, all of which nearly brought the war to an end in 1861. STRATAGEM 1861 highlights the events surrounding the Battle for the Potomac within the broader context of an early Confederate strategy to secure a foothold in Northern Virginia, shedding light on the tactics used and the battles waged in what may be considered the First Northern Virginia Campaign.

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About the Author:

A native of Northern Virginia, Robert H.C. Alton has maintained an avid interest in Civil War History. Recently he has published several articles in North South Trader's Civil War Magazine and routinely provides lectures in eastern Prince William, Fairfax and Stafford Counties, covering the region's rich Civil War History. Robert holds an M.B.A. from Saint Martin's College in Olympia, Washington.

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